Summer Grilling Week: How to Grill a Steak [VIDEO]

by Brett on June 27, 2013 · 20 Comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Visual Guides

Welcome back to Summer Grilling Week on Art of Manliness!

In today’s video, award-winning BBQ chef, Karl Engel, shows us how to grill a steak. Ron Swanson would approve.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Karl’s tips on grilling burgers.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dylan June 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

So when’s the first AoM bbq meet up?!

2 T.W. June 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Please don’t miss the greatest tip ever … invest in a thermometer.
Seriously, invest in a thermometer. No rub, no technique no meat has had as big an impact on my Q as a quality DIGITAL thermometer. I use a remote Maverick when I smoke and a Thermopen (as pictured) when I grill. They really are the single greatest investment for quality outdoor cooking (plus you know you aren’t poisoning your guests). GET A GOOD DIGITAL THERMO!

3 Scott June 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I’m a big fan of whats called the “reverse sear”, ie the exact opposite of what is done in the video. Its a godsend when youre cooking thick steaks (1.25″+).

1. Salt the steaks about 1hr before cooking. This is called dry brining and improves the meat’s ability to retain moisture.
2. Set the grill up with 2 separate zones, a direct zone with high heat, and an indirect zone with low heat, 225-250F.
3. Cook the steaks on the indirect side until they are 110F in the center, flip several times. Time will very by the cut of meat, thickness, outside temperature, etc. I would allow at least 20 minutes for this part.
4. Take them off the indirect side when the center hits 110 (if you want mid-rare, if you want it more done let it go longer) and place them on the direct side for the sear. Add more coals if you have to, but you want the direct side as hot as possible to get a good caramelization on the outside.
5. Pay attention and rotate the steak every minute or so to get a nice even browning. Grill marks look cool, but leave parts of the surface with no brown- which is a waste. Once the steak is good and brown, flip and do the same thing to the other side. Each side can be done within a few minutes, but keep a digital thermometer handy and if it gets to 130, take it off. Hit each side with pepper when its done.

This is why you want the grill as hot as possible, to get a good sear before the heat is transferred from the outside to the center and it cooks past mid-rare. Unfortunately this is also where most non-commercial gas grills fall short, they can not reach the high temps (600+) to get a quick sear that charcoal can.

6. Eat.

If youre steaks are an inch or less, give the grill all shes got and just monitor the temperature of the interior.

I learned this method from a certain grilling/BBQ website, but im not sure if I’m allowed to post links. That site goes into more detail and also gets into the science behind it.

4 Lochie June 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm

the marbling on those ribeyes were insane

5 D.D. Driver June 28, 2013 at 6:30 am

More comments from the peanut gallery:

Those steaks look okay, but not transcendent.

Need a much hotter grill. A perfect steak should be a *deep* brown. **Almost** to the state of charred on the outside and rare in the middle.

It’s harder to accomplish at home, but it can be done.

6 Michel June 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

Do you cook on high heat for the whole time? 20 min on high seems a bit much.

7 Jorge June 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

This is blasphemous, I know, but my wife prefers steaks more on the medium well side. Any tips for going a little bit beyond what’s typical? Would keeping steaks in the hot zone to a medium well result in a burned exterior?

First time I’ll be grilling this summer. I know, I know…

8 Rob June 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Jorge,

You’re spot on…that is blasphemous. May as well just serve her some jerky.

But to answer your question, the hot zone will burn the exterior if you keep it on to a medium well. You’re better off with the “reverse sear” method detailed above.

Indirect heat until you reach about 140 internal, then sear outside.

But at that point, you’re basically serving her some fresh shoe leather.

9 Lance o Lot June 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm

The grilling method shown here is very similar to the training I had as a teenager when I went to the broiler chef course for the Steakhouse where I worked.

BTW: Best cuts of meat in the whole greater DC area can be found at Wilson Farms Meat Company, Catlett, Va.

10 Adam D June 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

What is that charcoal grill Karl’s using? I’m loving the crosshatched grate vs. the usual straight lines of my Weber. Looks like I’d avoid losing onion/pepper/sweet potato slices through the grate with something crisscrossed like that. Ideas, anyone?

11 Bruce M June 30, 2013 at 6:55 am

For what it is worth, I have been advised by several chefs in Australia not to use oil on the grill itself because you end up cooking on burnt oil. Oil the steak, not the grill seems to be the rule down here. I have also been recently advised not to use pepper as seasoning before cooking as it can burn, leaving a bitter taste.

12 John B. July 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Really hard to mess up a steak once you know the basic fundamentals…

I concur with what Scott has posted as that’s a perfect way to get a really nice malliard reaction (aka caramelizing/browning) for larger steaks. Nice steakhouses don’t grill steaks — they broil them at incredible temperatures to get this reaction. Check out Alton Brown’s episode on Good Eats on how he simulates the experience with a charcoal chimney.

13 Jud July 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Agreed with Scott, I always bring my steaks up to 110-115 in the oven and then finish them in a pan or on the grill.

14 Ashley Hoober July 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

The steak house I worked at always oiled the steak a little and used a modest amount of Montreal Steak spice. When I cook at home I’d say I use a more “liberal” amount of steak spice. I encourage you to do the same.
As for butters, garlic and chive, or blue cheese are some of the best!

Great vid mate!

Ash

15 Tim Robertson July 5, 2013 at 12:09 am

Definitely going to try olive oil for oiling the grate and prepping the steaks after watching this video. Good video.

16 ScottK July 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Rule #1 of cooking ANYTHING = Start with room temperature food. This point can not be stressed enough.

For perfect steaks, it is a lot simpler than this:

2. Starting with thick cut Ribeyes, pat meat dry and apply seasoning desired.

3. Fire up grill, get up to 600+, will take a little while, but letting the meat cure some with the seasoning at this time adds to the flavor.

4. Put steaks on, close lid, wait 2 minutes.

5. Open lid, flip, wait 2 more minutes.

6. Open lid, flip, shut down the grill while waiting the final 2 minutes.

7. Let rest for 5 minutes, serve juicy medium-rare steaks.

If you want medium, add about 30 seconds to each stage.

17 Nathan July 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I’m surprised no one has mentioned another big no-no that people often do: taking the steak directly from the fridge and onto the grill. This contracts and tenses the muscle fibers resulting in ‘toughened’ meat. Take your steak out of the fridge and let it ‘acclimate’ quite a bit by having it sit out in room temperature for a good while before grilling it up.

18 Pete August 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Am I the only one who hates this method?

First off, he talks about the thermometer *that he clearly didn’t use* before touting a 125 degree “Medium rare” steak.

He then cuts into not one, but two *Medium well* (overcooked) steaks with about 40% of the meat being in the “grey band” that is the hallmark of cooking a steak over high heat the entire way.

I’m not terribly impressed. Go with the reverse sear (above) or sear for a few minutes on each side before moving to a cooler area of the grill to finish.

19 Julieane Hernandez August 8, 2013 at 1:34 am

Those ribeyes are insane! I’m a big fan or the reverse sear though. Makes for juicier steaks!

20 Mat October 1, 2013 at 5:50 am

nice mustache

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